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Spring Into Art With O’Kane Gallery


By Sheryl E. Taylor

UHD’s O’Kane Gallery is ready for Spring 2023 with new and annual exhibitions!

From Feb. 16 through March 30, the Gallery is hosting “Impressions: 500 Years of Printmaking From The Printing Museum Permanent Collection.” The exhibition is in collaboration with Houston’s The Printing Museum.* Opening day of the exhibition will feature an evening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16, in the O’Kane Gallery.

“The exhibition offers the opportunity to engage with a community partner and, importantly, to bring a huge range of print media to UHD,” said Mark Cervenka, Director of O’Kane Gallery and Professor of Art.

“Woodcuts, engraving, etching, lithographs, and screen prints will all be represented from the earliest pieces in the exhibition, including a Lucas van Leyden engraving from 1510.”

Cervenka also noted that more recent prints include three screen prints from the Op art master Victor Vasarely, six John Biggers prints, and four prints by artist Charles Criner, who studied under Biggers at Texas Southern University (TSU) in the 1960s. The third floor of UHD’s Academic Building is home to Biggers’ “Salt Marsh" (see below), which was commissioned in 1996. The muralist is one of the founders of TSU’s Art Department.

“This exhibition offers viewers a chance to see how each of the various print media creates their own particular stylistic cues and how various artists have used them over five centuries,” said Cervenka.

Next up is the “UHD Student Exhibition,” April 6 - 8, featuring the vision and talents of Gator students in a variety of media from the Fall semester 2022 and Spring 2023. A Gallery reception will be hosted from 6 to 8 p.m. on April 6. For faculty who are teaching a studio class or who taught one last Fall, the deadline for submitting student work is Monday, April 3.

Rounding out the Spring semester is “High Art 2023” on May 13. For the past 25 years, this annual exhibition has featured the best of young artists’ work from Houston-area high schools. In recent years, the exhibit has brought together more than 20 high schools in the area, both public and private.

“High Art” made its debut at UHD in the late ’90s thanks to Anne Trask, the former director of O’Kane Gallery. Cervenka eagerly continued the tradition when he took the reins in 2000.

For more information, visit the O’Kane Gallery website.

*The Printing Museum is temporarily closed to the public for relocation to Midtown, with plans to reopen early Spring 2023.

About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.